Amish Country Tours (Amish Country Tours – Book 1)

Rating: 
Amazon Price: N/A (as of August 21, 2017 4:28 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

NEW RELEASE – THIS IS NOT A TOUR GUIDE – IT’S A MUST READ FOR AMISH ROMANCE LOVERS!

When Amish widow, Sarah Hershberger, takes the desperate step to save herself and her family from financial ruin by opening her home to Englisch tourists, will her simple decision threaten the very foundation of the community she loves?

Price: $2.99

AVAILABLE ON:

Amazon Kindle Nook  iTunes  Kobo  Scribd  Page Foundry  Oyster


When Amish widow, Sarah Hershberger, makes a desperate attempt to save her family from financial disaster by allowing Englisch tourists onto her farm, Sarah faces the censure of her community as she has a daily struggle to balance home, faith, and the encroachment of the outside world. But when John Lapp, her neighbor and a widower himself, decides to help Sarah with her duties, is Sarah strong enough to accept his help? And will those who oppose her decision force the rest of her community to step back to an antique, more restrictive version of their community Ordnung?

Find out in Amish Country Tours, the first book of the Amish Country Tours series.

If you LOVE Amish Romance Novels (and know you are NOT getting a tour guide), GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!

AVAILABLE ON:

Amazon Kindle Nook  iTunes  Kobo  Scribd  Page Foundry  Oyster

Preview of Chapter One:

 

Thursday, March 26

I struggle to peddle my bicycle up the hill toward the post office as it starts to rain. This hasn’t exactly been the best of days; the buggy has broken down, I have a custom-ordered crib quilt to ship, that I spent most of the night finishing, and today is the final day to mail my property taxes to avoid another penalty. Which would require more money – that I don’t have.

Ordinarily, I love the rain, but it makes for a difficult uphill ride in a long, wet dress with cars speeding by. I say a prayer as another car passes, splattering me with mud. I suppose I could have borrowed Deacon Byler’s buggy. But the Byler family comes from a strict, old-order community and I didn’t want the shame of him finding out that I couldn’t pay my taxes when they first became due and didn’t ask the church for help. God forgive me for my pride, but the farm was Jacob’s dream long before we married and all five of my children were born there. I fear that if my family becomes too much of a burden on the community, we could be asked to sell the farm and then my children would ne longer have the legacy their daed intended for them to have.

As I continue up the hill I think about the uncertain futures of my children. When Jacob died, they didn’t just lose a man who loved them. In many ways they also lost an entire family heritage and the foundation of who they might become.

My sons lost the man who would teach them to hunt and to work the land, to provide for their own families someday. Whether or not they ever choose to rely on those skills as a primary means of income, Jacob and I always agreed that they were fundamental necessities to surviving in any economy.

They also lost the role model who could teach them carpentry and cabinet making if any of them ever wanted to forge a different path. Jacob was good with horses too and dreamt of building stalls someday to train and breed them. My sons would have, at the very least, had options for their futures. Who will teach them now? How will they become good husbands?

I can’t forget that my daughters have lost something irreplaceable too. They lost the one man in their lives who would set the bar for the men they would choose to marry someday, and the relativity of their own roles in a marriage. Who would set the male example for any of my children now?

All that my family had lost in Jacob’s death was bad enough without losing our home too! As a mamm I feel it’s my God-given responsibility to do whatever I can to keep that from happening.

Lost in my thoughts, I’m startled by another passing motorist and react by swerving slightly. The front tire of my bicycle wedges itself into a rut along the outside edge of the pavement. It has been etched into the blacktop by the steel wheels of the many Amish buggies that travel this road into town. I struggle with the handlebars to steer myself out of it but the hem of my dress catches in the chain, and my bicycle and I, go toppling over into the muddy gravel on the side of the road.

‘Pride goeth before a fall.’ I can hear my daed say, just as if he were sitting on the wet ground next to me. The only difference being that daed would have been laughing at the situation and I’m much too frustrated to laugh at the moment.

I scoot myself over to retrieve my purse from the grass and my package which is now lying in a puddle, then struggle to free my dress from the steely jaws of the bike chain. It’s my newest dress and I don’t want to tear it because I don’t have the spare time or the desire to make another. In just two more months I will ne longer be required to clad myself in black from head to toe as a symbol of mourning. In fact, I hope to never own another black dress for as long as I live.

I loved my husband dearly and I accept that it’s my wifely duty to honor his memory by keeping with the traditions of our faith – but the mourning attire only seems to prolong my grief and sadness. It only honors his death, not his memory. Because in life, Jacob always preferred seeing me in lighter colors.

Just as I begin to pray for God’s help, another car passes by and splashes me with muddy rainwater. I hang my head down and sigh. I realize that I’m probably going to have to give in and rip my dress free before someone runs me over. Just as I put my foot against the frame and begin to tug, I hear the rhythmic clop and prattle of a horse and buggy coming up behind me.

“Oh Lord, please let it be anyone but Deacon or Esther Byler,” I pray, but as the words escape my lips, I’m too ashamed of myself to even turn around and look to see who it is.

“Are you okay?” a man’s voice calls out to me.

I turn as the man climbs out of the buggy and steps towards me. “My dress got caught in the chain,” I explain, squinting to look at him through the rain pelting my face.

He tries to rotate the wheel but it doesn’t budge. “Hold on,” he says over the pounding rain. He runs back to the buggy and returns with a pair of pliers.

“Your chain is jammed. I’ll get you loose but you’ll have to get it fixed before you can ride it again,” he explains as he frees me from the bike. “Can I offer you a lift somewhere?”

“I’ve got to get to the post office in town but I live back in Hope Landing,” I explain.

“I’m going near the post office now. If you don’t mind an extra stop, I can take you home afterwards.”

“I don’t mind,” I assure him, as he carefully pulls me to my feet.

He helps me onto the seat with my package, loads my bicycle to the buggy and steers us back onto the roadway headed for town.

“I’m Sarah Fisher.”

“I’m John Troyer. “Your hand is bleeding, are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine; I must have scraped it on the pavement when I fell. I had hoped I could make it back home before the rain started.” I wrap the front hem of my apron around my hand self-consciously.

“It must be a pretty important package to go to all of this trouble on a day like today.”

“It’s a crib quilt for an expectant mamm. I’m a quilter. The baby’s due in a few days.”

“Are those your quilts at Yoder’s store?”

“I have a few quilts for sale there, but the ones on display were made by Deacon Byler’s wife and daughter. I’ve been quilting since I was old enough to thread a needle but only started selling my quilts after my husband died last May.”

John Troyer is a tall, handsome man in his middle thirties with a deep voice, a gentle smile, and kind, hazel eyes. His full head of dark brown hair is about the only physical feature that reminds me of Jacob. But he seems to carry that same purposed, thoughtful demeanor that I always admired in my husband, even in a crisis. “Where are you from Mr. Troyer?”

“Please, call me John.”

I smile modestly.

“I bought the old Schwartz farm on the south end of Hope Landing.”

Och, how long have you been in the community?”

“Four months now but I still have a lot of family in Hopkinsville so I’ve still been attending church services there.”

“That explains why we’ve never met. I knew the Schwartz property was for sale but I didn’t realize anyone had moved in.”

“I’m slowly making the transition from Hopkinsville. I’ll be at the Lapp’s barn raising coming up next Thursday. And I was thinking I might attend next month’s community dinner.”

“I’m sure Hope Landing will feel more like home once you get to know everyone.”

He stops in front of the Post Office and comes around to help me out of the buggy. “If you’re going to be here for a few minutes, I can run over to the tractor supply and come back. I just need to pick up a part that I ordered.”

Ya, that’s fine. I’ll probably have to make a new label and get a new box anyway; this one’s kind of soggy.”

“I’ll be as quick as I can.”

He leaves and I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the glass post office doors as I step inside. I look a fright, from shoes to bonnet, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. I pull the quilt out of the old box, still safe in the plastic bag I wrapped it in, and step up to the cashier when it’s my turn.

The postman helps me select the quickest shipping method, which also happens to be the least expensive, for the size and weight of the package. He gives me a new box and I fill out a new label before retrieving the property tax payment envelope from my purse. I pay the postage for both items and go back outside to wait for John.

It’s still raining and the temperature has dropped several degrees, but I feel more unnoticeable here than in the busy post office. I stay close to the building under the overhang of the roof to keep as warm and dry as possible. Had I been able to manage holding an umbrella and steering a bike at the same time, I would have brought one, but there was ne way I could have.

I turn my back to the glass to avoid looking at my reflection and making myself even more self-conscious about the wet fabric of my dress clinging to my figure. Even in the plain black mourning dress, I look immodest. Inconspicuously, I try to pull the fabric away from my body as Mr. Troyer pulls alongside the curb.

He hurries around to open the buggy door for me and helps me inside. I admire his gentlemanly resolve in spite of the rain.

“I hope I didn’t keep you waiting long,” he says kindly.

Ne, I’m grateful for the ride,” I assure him.

We get back on the road and I try to ignore the chill setting into my bones.

“So how long does it take to make a quilt?” he asks curiously.

“It depends on whether I have an existing pattern, how complicated the design is and how big the finished quilt needs to be. Some of the smaller quilts can be finished in two week’s time and some of the larger ones take months to finish.

“Do you make them by yourself?”

“My eldest daughter Mary loves to help, just the way I did at her age. She helps me choose and cut the fabrics and I’m teaching her to plan the layout of the designs. She’s very methodical for a ten year old. My youngest daughter Hannah is six. She counts pieces, sorts and fetches things – but like most six year olds, it’s hard to get her to sit still for very long.”

“Are they your only kinner?”

Ne I have three boys too.” I chuckle. “Mark is Mary’s twin, they’re ten years old. He’s creative and studious like his sister, but he’s an adventurer, that one. He’ll try his hand at everything and loves to figure out how things work. Then there’s Samuel, who’s eight. He’s small but mighty and he loves to entertain everyone with his stories. When his daed took him fishing last; he talked for two days, as if he’d harpooned a whale.” I smile at the thought. “I think he’s taken his daed’s death the hardest in some ways. My youngest is five, his name is Joshua. He’s a kind soul, but a little rambunctious and curious about everything.” I pause, realizing that I’ve been going on and on about my family. “Do you have children?”

“My wife died several years back, she had been ill for a long time. We always wanted a big family but it just wasn’t in God’s plan for us.”

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

“And I for yours,” he says thoughtfully, “I suppose that’s one of the reasons I left Hopkinsville; it just felt like the longer I was there, the harder it was to move on with my life. My brothers are all married with families of their own and my parents are well cared for. It was just time for me to make a fresh start and try something else.”

“I admire your independence.”

“Was your husband a farmer?”

Ya, he was raised as a cabinetmaker but he had a greater love for being outdoors and working the land; how about you?”

Och, I’m a farmer at heart, and I suppose I will always keep up the tradition, but I guess I’m a lot like your son in that I love to try my hand at things and find out how they work. We were raised on a small farm but my daed and his brother started a construction company once all of the kinner were all out of school. I’ve done masonry, carpentry, roofing and just about anything involved with building houses.

“When my wife was ill, I took to working in a factory and learned a lot about heating and cooling systems and engines. After she died, I opened a small equipment and engine shop on the property and introduced my younger brother to the business. When he was able to manage it on his own, I sold it to him with the main house and the farm and I moved here.”

“It’s a rare gift to be skilled in so many trades. I’m sure you’ll be a big help to the community.”

“I guess never having children to raise afforded me the freedom to work as I pleased, and to explore different skills and hobbies. It’s been useful, but I often wonder if it was as rewarding as a family would have been.”

He stops the buggy in front of the old Schwartz farmhouse. “You’re shivering, come inside the house and get warm for a minute while I give this part to my nephew so he can get the tractor running again. I could grab my tools, so I can fix your bike when I take you home, if you’d like. It should only take a few minutes.”

Denki, I appreciate that.”

Lost in our conversation, I hadn’t even noticed that the rain outside had slowed to a drizzle. He comes around, helps me out of the buggy and then shows me inside. The house is large but rather bare, even by plain standards. It could certainly use a woman’s touch, I reflected, though I decide to keep that observation to myself.

He fetches a towel and a heavy blanket from a closet in the hallway and hands them to me, “I’ll just find my nephew and come right back, he’s probably in the barn.”

I watch through the screen door for a moment as he walks toward the barn. He’s a strapping sort of man, muscular and broad shouldered, but there’s a gentle assuredness about him that puts me at ease and he’s definitely ne stranger to a hard day’s work.

I hurry to towel myself as dry as I can from my face to my stockings, then fold the towel neatly over the back of a kitchen chair before wrapping the blanket around my arms and shoulders. When he returns, he helps me into the buggy, puts his toolbox in the back and leads us down the driveway. On the way home, I think about all of the things I still need to accomplish today and how much worse it could have been if he hadn’t stopped to help me.

“Do your kinner attend the parochial school?” he asks curiously.

Ya, my four oldest do, my mamm keeps my youngest during the day so I can quilt when the chores are done.”

“They probably already know my nephew Caleb then; he alternates with Eli Lapp to bring the kinner home from school when the weather is bad. He’s been staying with me every two weeks since I moved here to help me get things going.”

“I’ve never met him personally but it is a big help not to have to pick the children up in the rain or snow. Is that why you attend services in Hopkinsville?”

Ya, I bring him here after church and he stays with me until the next time we go. He wants to try his hand at farming, and this gives him two weeks in each place, so he can learn without neglecting his family at home. My oldest brother still works in the construction business so Caleb never really learned to work the land. He’s got quite a gift with kids and animals though. Even if he doesn’t become a farmer, I think it’s good for him to have the experience.”

“That’s what I want for my boys too. I don’t mind if they farm or find some other trade; that’s between them and the call God puts in their hearts, but I still want them to learn how to work the land and to know that they can always provide for their families.”

I think of the fields that need to be planted in a couple of weeks as we approach the farm, “That’s my property just ahead on the right.”

He pulls onto the drive that leads to the main house, “Och, ya, someone told me this farm might be coming up for sale when I first started looking to buy in the area. I remember thinking what a nice property it is. I’m glad you decided to keep it.”

I know deep down that some of the townspeople are still expecting and maybe even hoping that I’ll sell the farm and find something smaller. I’m sure that some of the older community members feel that a 30 acre farm isn’t a suitable home for a widow with five young children to look after. And I’m sure they have relatives that would jump at the chance to settle in my place, but I’ve never considered selling.

I say nothing, for fear of making him uncomfortable. He means ne harm in repeating what he was told and I don’t want to stir up strife. I just thank God for his kindness and for putting John Troyer in my path today.

AVAILABLE ON:

Amazon Kindle Nook  iTunes  Kobo  Scribd  Page Foundry  Oyster

 

Product Details

  • File Size: 4015 KB
  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Global Grafx Press (July 7, 2015)
  • Publication Date: July 7, 2015
  • Sold by:  Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0117VK852
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Customer Reviews

Loved it, loved it, loved it!!! Another sweet story from Rachel Stoltzfus.

One person found this helpful.
 on July 9, 2015
By Angel
4.5 Stars: I haven’t read Amish stuff for a while, so I grabbed this one by a tried and true author. I gotta tell you, I loved how tough Sarah was while finding a way to stay respectful to her community’s values and faith. That kind of thing really gets me, you know? The romance was super sweet, too! I was a little annoyed by the garbled formatting in Chapter 8, but it looked like it was just a list that Sarah was writing. It was kind of confusing at first, but it didn’t really matter to the story, so I just skipped it.

Love love love

2 people found this helpful.
 on July 14, 2015
By Lisa
I don’t know if I can put into words how much I loved reading this book! God is so good! Sarah Fisher is a mother of five wonderful children! She has her mamm to help her since her husband died. John Troyer also lost his wife. God brings them together and I can just feel the love sprouting up! I love the author’s way of writing! Looking forward to reading the next one! Amazing !!!!!!!!!

Love the stories

 on May 15, 2017
By Claudette
These are wonderful stories offering some knowledge of the Amish communities. I wonder if they ever thought of Amish Camp?

Great story

 on May 31, 2017
By Amazon Customer Peggy
A family who has lost a lot with passing of thier husband and dad but still have fun and are able to gradually find new love.

Always remember to pray!

 on December 3, 2015
By Barbara B. Mills
It was an entertaining book. I was sad for the story to end. It was about Amish widow and her five children and her mother struggling to keep their farm after husband died. She has also met a single man who is interested in her and her family. She turns to God when she need help making wise choices and sees how being faithful to God leads her friends to help her when it is needed.

Wonderful story with a lovely Mother, a great romance and lots of fun.

 on July 14, 2015
By Kindle Customer
I just love this book. This book shows how an organized mother raises five children as a single Mom, with each child being happy and helpful, doing their chores without complaining. Because she is organized but mostly because she is kind and Loving. Of course this book teaches how faith in God is an important part in making our lives joyful, peaceful and comfortable. This story is not without a lovely romantance.

Wonderful book

 on July 10, 2015
By Kindle Customer
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed reading the way the Lord answered their prayers during their hard times and saw to their needs. I enjoyed reading how they were able to find love again after losing their spouses. I can’t wait for the next book to find out how the deacon is going to try to cause problems and what they will overcome his interference.

A woman with a mission – 5 kids and a big farm!

 on October 12, 2015
By fangal
I love the lead female! She is a widow trying to keep her large family together and keep the large farm she owned with her husband. Along comes John and is the perfect man to not only help her , but encourage her without taking away her independent spirit. I wish this was all one book. on to book two!

Five Stars

 on September 7, 2015
By Hammonds​
Great book

Comments are closed.

Copyright ©